Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Malaysian Bloggers Must be Responsible

Bloggers must be responsible for what they write on the Internet as there are laws on defamation and sedition, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said.

The Prime Minister said these laws were enforceable and bloggers must bear in mind that they could not hide or take advantage of the Internet to do something that was against the law.

“They cannot hope to cover themselves or hide from the laws,” he told Malaysian journalists at the end of his three-day working visit here yesterday.

He said bloggers, just like newspaper journalists, must be responsible for what they wrote or risk facing legal action from others.

Abdullah was commenting on the legal action against bloggers Jeff Ooi and Ahirudin Attan by the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd (NSTP), its deputy chairman Datuk Kali-mullah Masheerul Hassan, Group Editor in Chief Datuk Hishamuddin Aun and former Group Editor Brenden John Pereira.

He raised the question of “what was freedom without responsibility,” saying that laws must be respected.

On the lack of proficiency in English among teachers and lecturers, he said there was a need to improve the curriculum and methods to teach English in schools.

He added that Malaysians must understand that English was an international language.

Abdullah was responding to questions from journalists on the declining standard of English in Malaysian schools and universities.

Earlier, Abdullah told Malaysian students at the London School of Economics of the need for Malaysia to be competitive, pointing out the paces already made by the Chinese and India.

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